House Democrats release plan for marijuana legalization
DES MOINES — Democrats in the Iowa House are proposing a framework for state licensed businesses that could sell marijuana to customers over the age of 21.
Referendums would determine if a marijuana business could be established in a county. A 10% state tax would be collected on the sale of marijuana products. “The revenue generated will go to Iowa schools, it will go to local mental health services, it will go to local public safety,” Representative Lindsay James, a Democrat from Dubuque, said during a news conference this afternoon5. “I will say this: in 2021 alone Colorado’s marijuana industry generated $423 million in tax revenue.”
James said marijuana businesses in Illinois are collecting taxes from Iowans who’re crossing the border to buy cannabis. House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights said it’s time to regulate a product some Iowans already use.
“Legalizing marijuana for adult use keeps Iowans safe, stops our tax dollars from going to neighboring states, improves the quality of life for Iowans who are suffering from chronic illnesses,” Konfrst said, “and it stops us from wasting state resources to unfairly punish Iowans.”
Non-violent, low level marijuana possession convictions would be erased from a person’s record after two years under the proposal from House Democrats. Republicans are in the majority in the legislature and GOP leaders have said they have no interest in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.